The Difference of Sprains & Strains

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A sprain is medically defined as a stretch or tear of the ligaments, the strong cords of fibrous tissue which connect two bones together at the joints. Sprains most commonly occur on areas of the body which can be injured during a fall or sudden twisting motion, such as the ankle. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, approximately 2 million ankle sprains alone occur each year. An incorrect fall or abrupt twist usually causes a sprain because the unusual movement can force a joint into an abnormal position that may wind up stretching or tearing the ligament. Ankles, wrists, knees, and fingers are all frequently sprained areas of the body.

A strain is medically defined as a stretch or tear of the muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous band of tissue that connects the muscles to bones. Strains most commonly occur on the lower back and on the hamstring muscle located on the posterior side of the thigh, most commonly as a result of overexertion, trauma, or repetitive movements. Strains most frequently occur on the back, hamstring, and even the shoulder, because these areas are greatly mobile and highly used during strenuous physical activity, leading to a stretch or tear of a single, or multiple, muscle and tendon due to overuse.

Although sprains and strains significantly differ from each other, these do share several similarities, which is the main reason individuals generally confuse the two conditions.

Both sprains and strains include symptoms of pain, swelling, and limited mobility around the region of the injury. The symptoms can range from moderate to intense, according to the injury’s level of severity. Individual’s who’ve suffered an injury and are experiencing these symptoms can temporarily relieve their pain and discomfort using ice therapy to reduce the inflammation around the affected area as well as getting plenty of rest and elevation.

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As an athlete, individuals strive to  properly warm up and stretch the body as well as exercise enough to strengthen the muscles, maintain flexibility, and improve stamina. However, injuries can often be unpredictable and sprains and strains are two commonly diagnosed conditions among athletes which are frequently confused from one another. But, sprains and strains greatly differ from one another. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.

 

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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The information herein on "The Difference of Sprains & Strains" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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